he Operational Framework of Philippine Agenda 21 consists
of a multilevel guide for decision-making consisting of sustainable
development criteria, parameters and descriptors. The principles
of sustainable development embodied in the vision serve as the
criteria which help define the viability of development interventions.
The parameters are basic policies from which the key ingredients
of a sustainable development strategy are developed. Sustainable
development descriptors translate the parameters into specific
Operationally, sustainable development is development that draws
out the full human potential across ages and generations. It is,
at the same time, ecologically friendly, economically sound, politically
empowering, socially just, spiritually liberating, gender sensitive,
based on holistic science, technologically appropriate, builds
upon Filipino values, history, culture and excellence and rests
upon strong institutional foundations.
Philippine Agenda 21 provides a comprehensive set of economic,
political, cultural scientific and technological, ecological,
social, and institutional parameters that flow out of the principles
of sustainable development. Development is sustainable if it is
fully guided by these parameters.
Philippine Agenda 21 advocates a fundamental shift in development
thinking and approach. It departs from traditional conceptual
frameworks that emphasize sector based and macro-concerns. Philippine
Agenda 21 promotes harmony and achieves sustainability by emphasizing:
A scale of intervention that is primarily area-based. The
national and global policy environment
builds upon and support
Integrated island development approaches where
applicable. This recognizes the archipelagic
character of the
Philippines which includes many .small island provinces.
People and the integrity of nature at the saltier
of development initiatives. This implies the
roles, relationships and interactions between stakeholders in
government, civil society,
labor and business. Basic sectors
have an important role to play in achieving equity and in managing
ecosystems that sustain life.
The action agenda of the Philippine Agenda 21 elaborates
the mix of strategies that integrate the SD parameters in the
country's overall development strategy. In formulating the action
agenda, PA 21 has been guided by the key concepts of integration,
multi-stakeholdership and consensus building and operationalization.
PA 21 does not duplicate but builds on existing and
ongoing initiatives related to sustainable development. Hence,
sustainable development in the Philippines is the accumulation
of conceptual and operational breakthroughs generated by the Philippine
Strategy for Sustainable Development, Social Reform Agenda,
Human and Ecological Security, among others. Sustainable development
is also a product of the process itself, of engaging various stakeholders
and of working in global national and local arenas.
The PA 21 is a document owned by various stakeholders
in government and civil society. Hence, the action agenda brings
out the important roles of major groups and other stake holders
in the sustainable development process.
PA 21 must be identified with doing. This implies
concrete policy statements as well as appropriate implementation
strategies on the critical issues that will affect sustainable
development in the Philippines in the next 30 years, including
financing and localization mechanisms.
The journey towards sustainable development involves
both a transition and a paradigm shift. Philippine Agenda 21,
therefore, adopts a two pronged strategy in defining and mapping
out the action agenda:
creating the enabling conditions which would
assist various .stakeholders to manage the transition
and at the
same time build their capacities towards sustainable development;
direct and proactive efforts at conserving, managing,
protecting and rehabilitating ecosystems
through an approach that
harmonizes economic, ecological and social goals.
Managing the transition to SD calls for interventions
in the following areas:
integrating SD in governance
providing enabling economic policies
investing in human and social capital
mapping out a Legislative Agenda; and
addressing critical and strategic concerns, to
include: population management, human health,
food security, human
settlements and land use.
These interventions define the Philippine Agenda
21's action agenda across ecosystems.
The action agenda at the level of ecosystems
consists of strategic and catalytic interventions covering the
following ecosystems and critical resources:
coastal and marine ecosystem
urban ecosystem freshwater ecosystem
Implementing PA 21
he implementation of Philippine Agenda 21 must be
anchored on the basic principle of collective choices and responsibility.
Forging new partnerships and finding areas of common ground for
collaborative action are central to the process of implementation
as well as building and strengthening the roles and capacities
of major groups and stakeholders; a consolidated and well coordinated
effort at information, education and communication advocacy; localization;
generating financing means and strategies; and monitoring and
Strengthening the Role of Major
Groups. The identification of key
players and how they interact in the whole process provide a basis
for deepening the analysis and treatment of the ecosystem, and
also for defining the varying roles that various stakeholders
are expected to play for achieving sustainable development.
There are two major categories of stakeholders: basic
sectors and intermediaries. Basic sectors comprise the farmers
and landless rural workers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, urban
poor, and other disadvantaged groups such as workers in the informal
sector, children and youth, persons with disabilities, elderly,
disaster victims and overseas contract workers. Intermediaries
are composed of formal institutions that include the national
and local government units, business and private sectors, non-government
organizations, church-based organizations, civic groups and professional
associations, mass media and the international community.
The key roles of the major stakeholders are defined
according to sectoral needs, motivation or interest and perspectives.
Intermediaries can serve as any of the following: (a) brokers
of information and appropriate technologies; (b) mobilizers of
resources; (c) net workers to strengthen institutional linkages,
trainers; and (d) product enhancers.
Basic sectors, on the other hand, can serve as advocates
of specific issues and concerns, organizers and mobilizers of
community resources, culture bearers, innovators of indigenous
approaches and systems, managers and controllers of community resources.
There are common grounds within which these key actors
can undertake collaborative actions and interventions.
The process of localizing Philippine Agenda
21 is a vital element in mainstreaming the action agenda at the
local level. In principle, localization shall seek to emulate
the following key concepts: multistakeholdership and consensus
building, integration and operationalization while respecting
the need to preserve the peculiarities inherent in each locality.
The process of localization needs a structure that
will ensure coordination and cooperation among the various actors.
The structure to be eventually adopted shall be left to the discretion
of the local people. Two options, though, can be identified: tapping
existing structures such as the Regional Development Council;
or creating a separate structure which is a mirror image of the
Financing Means and Strategies.
The adoption of a mixture of market-based instruments and command
and control measures is expected to set into motion financial
flows that would help achieve the goals of the PA 21. The strategy
aims not only to mobilize funds to support PA 21 activities. More
importantly, it aims to help induce changes in production and
consumption patterns in favor of the sustainable management of
the country's resources.
Financing PA 21 will have to rely heavily on the
economic sectors' ability and willingness to incorporate sustainable
development principles in the design of their production systems.
Market based instruments working in tandem with the application
of beneficial and realistic environmental standards through credible
enforcement of regulations and sanctions could encourage companies
to invest in abatement equipment.
Companies that support philantrophic activities can
also be tapped by Philippine Agenda 21 to channel an increasing
share for SD initiatives under an environment fund. Pollution
charges and other forms of penalties and fines can be collected
at rates that will provide an incentive for environmental protection.
PA 21 may a1so be considered for inclusion in the Investment Priorities
Plan to make environmental investments eligible for fiscal incentives.
Proponents of public and private investment ventures
are primarily responsible for making the needed investments for
environmental rehabilitation and/or mitigation in compliance with
environmental standards. Incorporating such investments in public
sector projects can be ensured through government's appraisal
Information, Education and Communication.
The imperatives of sustainable development necessitate a reorientation
in the fundamental values of .society. Hence, the formulation
and implementation of a comprehensive information, education and
communication advocacy plan is part of the efforts to mainstream
the principles of PA 21 in the various efforts of all stakeholders.
The IEC Plan for PA 21 would involve a mix of communication
strategies .such as: social mobilization, advocacy, social marketing,
networking and visioning. The following are some of the strategic
messages which shall form the basis of the overall strategy:
Sustainable development is a matter of survival.
The only true development is sustainable development.
Avoiding pollution is not necessarily avoiding profit.
Pollution does not pay, Managing pollution pays.
Environmental protection is a corporate responsibility.
Sustainable development begins and ends with you.
Monitoring and Assessment.
To effectively assess the implementation of Philippine Agenda
21, a comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and reporting system
should be established to guide all stakeholders to meaningfully
participate in the process of operationalizing sustainable development.
Such a system will also help institute broad-based accountabilities
and responsibility for sustainable development among members of
society. This .system may include the following elements: (a)
a system to coordinate and evaluate the extent to which the Philippine
Agenda 21 has been adopted and implemented by all stakeholders;
(b) a system to coordinate, support and enhance existing national
and loca1 multisectoral as well as sectoral monitoring, evaluation
and information exchange on the implementation of initiatives
related to Philippine Agenda 21; and (c) a system for reporting,
feed backing and utilizing the monitoring and evaluation results
on Philippine Agenda 21 for international, national and local